That was the extent of it, however, as the Bears beat the Raiders 6-1 for their seventh-straight win without a loss.
Patrick Braxton scored first to put Houston County up. That came in the third minute and on a “great diagonal pass, Head Coach Jason Kirk said, from midfield Sammy Valdivia.
West Laurens then frustrated the Bears’ high-powered offense for much of the remainder of the half, Kirk said. That is until Braxton broke free for his second goal. That came via a slotted pass from midfielder Colin Little.
That summed up the scoring in the first half.
"We actually played pretty well in the first half," Kirk said. “But I give a lot of credit to West Laurens. They were winning balls and keeping us off balance. The Bears however, would showcase their firepower in the second half.”
With senior midfielder Juan Morales on the sidelines on crutches - injured in the Warner Robins game Tuesday, Kirk said freshman midfielder Jonathan Scruggs stepped in to play “valuable minutes and ignite the offense with his quick decision-making.”
Goals came quickly at that point, Kirk said, with Andrew Weber connecting off a pass from Colin Little and Braxton netting his third to complete his second hat trick of the year. Braden Anderson assisted on that goal.
Sammy Valdivia converted a penalty kick following that - when Weber was taken down in the box after splitting two defenders – and Tim O’Donnell completed the scoring unassisted.
“The HoCo defenders played excellent throughout the game,” Kirk said, “as West Laurens continued to push the attack. The scoring drought for Bears opponents would finally end, when a West Laurens player was jostled inside the penalty box and was awarded a PK by the referee with only three minutes left on the clock.
“I hated that the shutout streak came to an end, especially for (senior goalkeeper) Stephen Robertson but our central defenders, juniors E.Z. Morales and Everick Little, were strong all night.
“Admittedly, we have to be more careful not to foul in the box but the play that gave them the PK was set up by a weak tackle in the midfield. Sometimes people forget when an error is made that most often other errors led to it.
“We expect hard defense from every player on the field, not just those designated as defenders."